Monday, January 28, 2008

When Your Roots Hurt

I was very busy in the last couple of weeks for me to properly update this blog. Something weird happened to me today upon hearing of the news from Lebanon. I stopped caring. I just don't care either way. Really. The only thing I care about is the safety and well being of my family and friends there. Other than that I am completely apathetic about the entire country. The Syrians and their hoodlum can have it. Same goes to the Israelis and their war machine. Sa7tein. I am neither angry nor scared. I am numb. The Lebanese have treated each other (17 years of un-civil war) and others (Sri Lankan maids, Palestinian civilians, Syrian migrant workers) so badly that the country is made to suffer. Even the environment is plundered. Last time I visited, I couldn't find a green spot away from noise and pollution to show off to my tourist friends! We went to the top of Mount Sannine. There was an empty restaurant there that was blasting Najwa Karam all night all the way into the hotel rooms! I was livid! What goes around comes around. Everyone pays for their sin somehow. The very sad thing for me is not having seen my family in long time. I miss all of them a lot.

Update: When your mother gives you tough love on not giving up on your country, you listen. I humbly see the folly of some of the sentiments above, especially the scratched part. They've seen much worse than I have, AND they still live there without their children, YET they haven't given up... Who am I to whine.

6 comments:

bintarabi said...

How dare you ! I am sorry you were unable to show Lebanon's pretty face to your friends, perhaps you were looking in all the wrong places. I am an English woman who has returned to live here after decades out of the country I fell in love with Lebanon (and my husband) many many years ago. We tried living outside but returned here in 2006, just one month before (yet another)the Israeli invasion. We invested our savings here. We want to live here. Our children thought us mad, but after visiting they can understand our love of this land and its people and have given us their blessing. Not all its people deserve your comments. Of course there will always be bad apples but Lebanon is its people. Its people are its famous hospitality. I too feel sad when I see (among many other things)garbage along the roadside just thrown from passing cars. The garbage piling up by the Pigeon Rocks, just thrown for no other reason than that someone just could not be bothered or just did not care. I understand people taking to the street to demonstrate the lack of such basic supplies as electricity. They have no other recourse. Lebanese politicians should recognise and deal with this before the situation gets out of hand. Don;t tell me that "outside forces" restrict us. If we cannot deal with something so basic as continuous electricity supply, perhaps we should be asking for outside help. But I cannot condone your comments. I suspect your heart bleeds and you found a poor way of expressing your feelings. I have no religious affiliation, but I do care. I care that ordinary people carry on trying to make a life, try to make ends meet and try to do their best. Like the tiny restaurant I went to yesterday, perched high on a rock overlooking a perfect sea, to eat fish, cooked to perfection by one such lady. I don't know from where you are now Firas, but you don't have the right to say Syria can take us, or Israel, etc. etc. or anyone for that matter. Please do not give up on us. We need all thinking Lebanese to try and try again, and when that fails, to try yet again.

Lycanthropy said...

dont give up dude, not yet...

callipyge said...

I hear you, my friend. I feel the same way.
I'm going there to see my grandmother in March though, so hopefully things won't be too hellish.

Bintarabi: Firas has the right to say whatever he wants or feels; just like you do. Take it easy on him. We obviously all want different things from life. You're 67, you have a family, children etc. You're not at the same point in life Firas and I are at. The Lebanese people's hospitality is a wonderful thing when one wished to retire. But it doesn't do much for younger people who still have so much to build.
Please do not tell us how we are supposed to feel. We've ached so much for this country and are just exhausted by the endlessness of political stupidity and civilian apathy. Allow us to find retreat in the feelings (or lack thereof) we experience and let us bear roots in more fertile grounds.
You said it yourself, Lebanon is all about it's people. This, we will never cease to love. Land becomes purely material at this point.

Paul said...

I am not ready to give up. I guess it depends on whether you found another place that you can call home.

Firas said...

Bless your heart, bintarabi. I "dare" say what I want on my blog. It is my soul that I am bearing, and right now, this is how it feels. You and I see Lebanon through different eyes. I grew up under bullets in 1980s. Had it not been for heroic efforts by my parents who worked hard to provide for me, educate me, and shield me as much as possible from the war, I wouldn't have made it this far. So many souls were broken and tortured (sometimes literally) in that strip of land. I just see despair and lots of human-inflicted suffering. It's a toxic place FOR ME, spiritually and physically. I need to heal away from it, and I am. One day I may feel affinity for the material place again. Just like Callipyge said, I will never cease to love my people there.

A. said...

Bless your heart? You have lived in the south a while, eh Firas? LOL! (I can tease you, as I am a born-and-raised southerner!) My dear late husband lived here so long, his accent became more southern than Lebanese!

I understand your feelings (re Lebnanon) though, all of my family feel the same...half want to run away and stay away...the others still hang on, hoping it will get better. For me, I just hope I don't have to escape a war again this summer - I have to go and see my nephew get married, at least. I guess all we can do is pray and hope for the best...